At one of those church gatherings for men, we all stood around a campfire, and one guy was giving a little macho-spiritual talk about our role as leaders, husbands, and fathers. I was poking around in the dirt with a stick and trying to listen as best I could when he asked us, “What happens to your life when you get married?”
It didn’t seem like a rhetorical question. I thought he was actually looking for a response, so I answered, “Once you’re married, your life is over.”
Everyone laughed and thought I was being funny, or maybe they were just laughing because I’m sort of known for saying things that are a bit strange, but I was completely serious. I had to explain myself because even among church folks it seemed that people thought I meant that the loss of a life was a bad thing, which isn’t always the case. After all, don’t we Christians believe in life after death and spending eternity in heaven?
Once I got married, my life was indeed over, and it was replaced with another type of existence called “our life.” As marriages go, it seems like the changes my wife and I experienced have been smoother than they have been for many others, partly due to the fact that my wife and I both did not hold on to our own lives, but rather embraced this new realm of living with another person.
Of course, we had already given ourselves to Christ, and while we are still learning all of what that really means, I’m pretty sure that’s a good foundation for getting along rather well for over three decades. I’d hate to attempt something so life altering without Jesus.